Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Beach Days

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is Top Ten Books that Should be in your Beach Bag. I love a lazy day beach reading day so here is my list:

1. The Jenny Ham Summer Series (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, The Last Summer of You and I)
How could you go wrong with this series? It's about a set of two families who share a summer house every summer. Belly is torn between her love for of both Conrad and Jeremiah (brothers). Great summer read.

2. Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
This book is about three women each with their own set of problems who go to a summer house to get away and figure out what to do with their lives.

3. The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan
This book by the late L. K. Madigan is all about a girl who loves to surf and finds out her destiny is somehow linked with mermaids.

4. Summer Sisters by Judy Bloom
Can you really go wrong with anything called Summer Sisters when you're looking for a beach read. Plus, the cover has muskoka chairs on it.

5. The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares
This book tugs at your heartstrings but again it is all about getting away for the summer.

6. Second Chance by Jane Green
The setting for this book isn't at the beach but it is a nice light read with some substance. Great for reading at the beach.

7. The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
This book focuses on two different families and how their lives are intertwined one summer. It is full of mystery.

8. Sail by James Patterson
I really liked this book. It is a mystery type novel by Patterson but it is quite good and most of it is set on a sailboat.

9. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
This book is set at the beach and it's a Nicholas Sparks book. Enough said.

10. The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty
This isn't necessary a beachy read but it is light and funny so you can't really go wrong.

I'm interested to see what the rest of you picked.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton
Publishing Date: December 2nd, 2010
Genre: YA/Romance
Pages: 372 pgs
ISBN: 9780525423270

My Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

My Review:
Well, I feel like I waiting forever before reading this book. Everyone was raving about it but I was a little hesitant because it was YA and a little bit of romance. I thought that maybe it might be a bit cheesy if I'm being honest. Well, was I ever wrong. I loved this book; it was quite cute and refreshing. I liked that it was set in Paris but it was mostly about Americans in Paris. I am a French teacher so it was easy for me to pick up on all the French that was being used which I liked. I could relate to Anna because I moved cities and schools halfway through my grade 12 year. In Ontario at the time we had OAC which was a grade 13 so I had a year and half left of high school when I moved. I have to say that it was daunting and I missed my friends a lot but it was the best decision of my life. It helped me to grow up and I am still friends with all my friends from that high school. I am actually getting married to someone I met at that new high school. When I was reading I could relate to Anna and I felt like I was reliving all those emotions again. I'm not going to lie though I wasn't immediately awed by Etienne St. Clair and I quickly became frustrated with him. I wanted to yell at him: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? PICK ONE GIRL AND STOP LEADING THEM BOTH ON!". I don't really blame Anna for being so confused about what was going on. I am glad that they got their act together by the end of the novel (was there really any ever doubt?). Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox: Book Buying Spree (16)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives bloggers a chance to share what they got in their mailbox or what they bought throughout the week.

This week's edition has quite a few new additions for my bookshelf. It is for the past 3 weeks and I have been quite stressed out as of late. When I am stressed out I buy books (a little retail therapy). Anyhow here they are:

For Review:
Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner (Thanks GoodReads FirstReads)
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz (Thanks Net Galley)
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (Thanks Net Galley)
Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Thanks NetGalley)

Some Great Thing by Lawrence Hill
The Three Weissmans of Westport by Cathleen Schine
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

J'Adore New York by Isabelle Lafleche
The Island by Victoria Hislop
Kepper of the Light by Diane Chamberlain
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship by Lisa Verge Higgins

Dahanu Road by Anosh Irani
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland


Well that's it for me. What did you get in your mailbox this week? I can't wait to see all the goodies from BEA!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Publisher: Vintage
Publishing Date: January 26th, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Adult Fiction
Pages: 667 pgs
ISBN: 9780375714368

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him—nearly destroying him—Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.

My Review:
Well this book is a mammoth of a book with a whopping 667 pages but I read it quickly. The novel is set mostly in Ethiopia and focuses on a set of orphaned twins. One twin seems completely cut off emotionally while the other feels everything with such intensity. While I was reading I had to wonder if Shiva had Aspergers Syndrome (a form of autism). This book is emotionally heart wrenching but the landscape of the book is so breathtaking. I loved reading about different cultures colliding in this book. I have to admit that I became a bit frustrated with some of the characters in this novel. Genet was one of them. She was so self centered and destructive when she could have done so much with her life. I really dislike when people say they have been dealt a shitty hand in life and use it as an excuse to destroy their own life. I have had to overcome quite a bit to get where I am today. I used my situation to empower me to be better and to attain my goals. It just seems counterproductive to destroy your own life. Anyhow, I was also frustrated with Dr. Stone. How can you just leave your children without a mother. They were fortunate to have been adopted by two very loving parents but I can't beleive someone would just leave their children behind in another country. Overall, I loved this book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for the amazing writing and character development.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: About Blogging

Well, I know that this post is a little later in the day but I had a bit of a nutty day teaching so it's better late than never. Anyhow today's topic is blogging about blogging. I haven't been a blogger for long but can I see the value in it. I have seen several friendships made through blogging. It has only been within the past couple months that I have started to develop some of these relationships. I think that Twitter has definitely helped. I am more of a Facebook person myself so it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of Twitter. Now that I am on Twitter and using it regularly, I love seeing people's posts. I also find it a lot easier to develop relationships over Twitter. I have to admit that there is no one blogger that I can say I'm super close with or even term as a friend. Right now it is more just acquaintances and we will see where that goes. I find that I am more of a passive participant in twitter right now. I tend to follow and listen but I don't often reply or comment. In order to develop blogging relationships I think is something I need to work on. There are so many amazing bloggers out there and I am not gonna lie, I want to be part of that.
Another thing that I love about blogging is the interaction you have with authors. Before blogging, I would read a book and I would never imagine chatting with the author of said book. Now, I have authors commenting on my reviews, contacting me for reviews or just chatting with my on Twitter. It is amazing to hear from authors and know that they are reading what you are writing.
There are some things that I find challenging about blogging too. I find that sometimes my blog will go with minimal posts for a week or two and it drives me nuts. I just can't find the time to review sometimes because I'm teaching full time and working part time and planning a wedding. On top of all this I thought it would be a wonderful idea to take an online course entirely in French. I find myself stressing over my blog and I have to remind myself that I started this blog as something fun to do, as a hobby and that I shouldn't be sitting here stressing about it. If I lose a few followers for that, then so be it. I will admit the last couple of weeks I have been better about keeping up with my posts. I have set a lot of reviews up to post in the future and I think this is really just the best way to do it for me.
Anyhow, I think I have rambled on enough here and I am curious to see what the rest of you wrote. I hope you all enjoy a nice weekend and thanks for popping by the blog during Armchair BEA!

Blogger Hop: Movie Time

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is as follows:
Which movie adaptation do you like the best? Which one do you dislike?

Well I have to say the best adaptation is not going to be much different from my post last week. It is none other than Harry Potter. That being said, I think they could have done a better job in the last movie. That's not to say I didn't like it though because I did. I can't wait until July for the final movie to come out!
Another movie that I was impressed by was Water for Elephants. I think that it closely followed the book and I really enjoyed both. I am not going to lie, I cried for both.
I admit that most adaptations aren't nearly as good and I end up getting angry when the movie doesn't follow the same plot as the book. I really disliked what they did with Eragon in the movie. I really enjoyed the book but didn't like the movie. Another one that really irritated me was My Sister's Keeper. Why oh why would you change the ending of that book? I just don't get how the producer of that movie (or whoever it is that makes the decisions) would think that he/she can make the movie better by completely changing the ending. The book was popular for a reason, don't change it! Anyhow that is enough of my complaining. I'm curious to see what you all put down for this.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publishing Date: April 26th, 2011
Genre: YA/Dystopia
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780061962745

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

My Review:
I have heard mixed reviews about this book but I still couldn't help but be drawn in by the premise of this book. In this book women over the age of 18 become infertile due to a disease and because of this many teen girls are capitalizing off of this and selling their uterus (not sure what the plural for this word is- uteruses, uteri?) to the highest bidders. The book is a story about a set of twins, Melody and Harmony, who were separated at birth and grew up in very different circumstances. Melody is a firm believer in getting bumped and Harmony grew up in a religious community and believes in getting married young and having a child young. I really like how McCafferty just drops you right into this world. The vocubulary she comes up with was also quite humerous: fertilicious, bumped, masSEX parties, etc. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitley recommend it. While it may seem that each twin is firmly entrenched in a set of beliefs and cultures, over the course of the book you can slowly see doubt fester in each girl. While I really enjoyed the book, I have to say I was disappointed in the way it ended. I realize that there will be another book in this series but I felt like I was left hanging a little at the end. I really wish things would have been a little more tied up before it ended. Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

It gives people a change to share what books we're so excited about that we can't wait for them to come out.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Summary from GoodReads:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

This cover just looks so creepy. This book comes out June 7th, 2011 and I can't wait. What are you hoping to read soon?

Armchair BEA: Interview Time

Today is Day 3 of Armchair BEA and today gave bloggers an opportunity to network and meet new bloggers. I am so happy to say that I was able to work with not one but two different bloggers for this interview.

Snowdrop Dreams of Books

Today I am interviewing Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books. I follow her blog and it is amazing (you definitley have to check it out if you haven't already). Chrystal is a fellow Canadian and it was fun getting to know her. Here is our interview:

1. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
sassy, crafty, hopeless romantic, dreamer, nerd
(I guess that is six words really LOL)

2. What inspired you to start blogging?
I had found a site quite a few years ago where I reviewed romance books for them and finally I decided that I'd like to review a wider variety or books. I stumbled upon a book blog (All About {n} )while searching for info on a book (can't remember the title) and as soon as I realized that people were really blogging about books they read I jumped right on the bandwagon. *By the way All About N is one of my favourites too- go check it out!*

3. How would you describe your blogging style?
There are times where I am on the ball and have things set to auto post and other times I am flying by the seat of my pants and spazzing that I'm not posting enough or have good quality posts. I'd say that I get a little obsessed with having the perfect looking post and will spend a lot of time making sure it looks just right.

4. What are you top 5 favourite books?
This is a really hard question. There are so many amazing books out there. Hmmm. I would have to go with:
-To Kill A Mockingbird b Harper Lee
-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben
-anything by Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Wintergirls)
-The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
I have more than this, but right now those are my top. (I'd add Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger too).

5. Paperback, Hardcover or E-Book?
All of the above! I prefer paperback, because I kind of dislike the dustcovers on the hardcover version - I always take them off when I'm reading. I have one author completely in hardcover because that is how I found her books initially and now I just keep collecting them that way to keep them all the same (I'm OCD like that). And well ebooks are fun too - I do have an e-reader and love being able to take multiple books with me - I pretty much use it for the books I get from NetGalley right now.

6. Do you ever find it difficult to balance blogging with your personal/work life?
ALL THE TIME! I am really behind on my TBR pile and books for review. I was just asking other bloggers for tips and tricks to stay organized. It sometimes makes me feel overwhelmed, but I wouldn't give it up for the world - I love reading, reviewing and blogging too much. :) I try to read on my lunch hours and in the evenings before bed. Weekends are easier because I read while doing laundry. And sometimes I listen to audiobooks so I can multitask.

7. What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don't say yes to everything just to try getting your name out there - read only what you love. (I started out saying YES to everything. Boy was that a mistake - I took on too much too fast and from all genres. Now not so much. I only say yes when I can handle it or it's something I'd love to read.)

8. What BEA event do you wish you could attend?
I pretty much wish I could just be there to experience it all - there are so many different things to check out. I'd love to meet a few of my fave authors and bloggers. I'd love to listen to some authors talk about writing.

9. Anything fun planned for the summer?
Not a lot this year - trying to save as much money as we can for the wedding next fall. Might go to the Toronto Zoo, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Royal Ontario Museum in June. And my sister is having a baby this summer (in July), so I am sure I will be over there all the time helping out with my new nephew! :)

Now I did say that I got to work with two different bloggers. Well, I got to work with another blogger to answer some interview questions. That being said my answers can be found over at The Book Mystress. Don't forget to check it out!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: Top Books

Today's topic is the top books of 2011 thus far. I have read quite a few books published this year and here are my favourites:

If you get a chance to read Divergent by Veronica Roth do it!!! It's better than The Hunger Games and I loved that trilogy! Anyhow I know it's short and sweet but I look forward to seeing yours.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is the Top Ten Books you have Lied About. This can mean you've lied about reading a particular book or you've lied about not reading a particular book.

I have to admit that I don't often lie about the books that I do read. I have however lied about a few and here they are:

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I have listed this in my read pile but in reality I couldn't finish this book. My friend and I got the exact same spot in this book and quickly became bored of it. I think I need to pick it back up again soon.

2. Anything by Shakespeare
I took an English degree in University and included in my degree I had to take an entire course dedicated to Shakespeare. During this year in university I was diagnosed with depression and as a result I missed close to two months of classes. I fell quite behind so what I did to rectify this situation is use Sparksnotes to summarize all of my Shakespeare plays and I was able to write two essays and pass my exam. I did get a B+ in this class but I never read a single play.

3. Gemma Townley novels (or really anything super chick lit like)
I'm not sure that it's exactly lying but I never really admit to reading as much chick lit as I do. I like to read at least 10 chick lit novels a year. I usually read them after a particularly emotional read.

To be honest I think this is about it. I don't often lie about what I have read. I'm curious to read about all of you liars :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA: Me and Books

Well there are quite a few bloggers who are off in NYC right now at BEA and I'm not going to lie, I am a bit jealous. In order to feel a little less involved I signed up for armchair BEA. Each day there are different topics and I will try to post as many as I can throughout the week. Anyhow without further ado here is the topic for today.

Today's topic is to introduce yourself and explain how you will armchair BEA. To start, I am a 28 year old Canadian who teaches elementary school. I have loved reading since I was a young child and can remember leaving the library with 10 books everytime I went. I was actually born in the Yukon (right beside Alaska) and I have travelled past the Arctic Circle. To be honest, all this was done before the age of 4 so while I remember some of it, I definitely don't remember it all.

I am currently planning my wedding which will be on August 27th and boy is that a lot of work. I have most of the big things booked but I still have a few smaller things to do. I can't wait to walk down the aisle!

As mentioned above I teach elementary school. It is quite difficult to find a permanent job in teaching here in Canada and for the time being I am supply teaching. I do, however, have my own grade 1 French class every Wednesday. I love my job and couldn't imagine doing anything else. The bonus- I get the summer off which means I am free to read to my heart's content.

I grew up in a crazy household; I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers all younger than me and all with the same two parents. To say that things were chaotic in my house growing up is an understatement but I couldn't imagine not having any of my siblings in my life.

I started Feeling a Little Bookish originally about a year ago in October but I only wrote a few reviews and then abandoned the project. I started back up again and revamped my blog, changed the name and really started taking blogging serious again in October of this year. For the most part I read adult contemporary fiction. That being said, since starting blogging, I find that I have been reading mostly YA. There are so many good bloggers out there and I can't help but take their recommendations. I definitely have way more books than I should. Everytime I come home with more my fiancee gives me a look and jokingly calls me a book hoarder. I can't help it, I just love books and I have always felt happiest surrounded by them.

So, how am I going to Armchair BEA? Well, I have been following quite a few people on Twitter and I feel like I am getting a pretty good idea as to what's going on. It still isn't quite the same as being there. I am also participating in these posts and I look forward to reading other people's posts as well. I will definitely have to seriously consider attending BEA next year.
Anyhow that's it for me. I can't wait to read all about you.

Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publishing Date: May 23rd, 2011
Genre: YA/Dystopia
Pages: 352 pgs
ISBN: 9780547371481

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

My Review:

This is a book set in the future and is set in a society where everything is done electronically. Students go to school online, go on dates via webcam and simulations and no one goes outside anymore. When people are in the outside world they are so preoccupied with being plugged in that they miss the beauty around them. That being said, most of the beauty around them is also simulated; they have fake trees and fake grass and as a result they have little wildlife. I have seen this theme on television but I haven't read any books that deal with the electronic revolution. While reading this book I thought that it really doesn't seem far off. How long can I go without going online, checking my phone, using my Ipod? I wouldn't lose my mind if I had to go without these things but it's not often that I decide to be unplugged. I'm sure this is true with many people my age. It's scary to read this book and to think of where the world could go. That being said, I find it highly unlikely that people would allow their lives to get to that point. I mean it's wonderful to talk to people via Skype but it can't beat hanging out in real life. My favourite thing in the world is to get outside in the summer and read my book. I couldn't imagine living indoors all the time. I know that when I do stay indoors too long my brain becomes mush and I become highly unmotivated to do anything. Anyhow, back to the book. Kacvinsky is an incredible story-teller. I couldn't put this book down. I felt personally invested in Maddie's life and I wanted to know what was going to happen with her. At one point in the book she is out with Justin doing things she shouldn't be doing and I just kept thinking, this is going to come back to bite her in the butt. I wanted to yell at her to think about her actions but at the same time I wanted her to get out and experience the world as it once was. Maddie is conflicted between her family and her increasing views that things just aren't right in the world. She wants to get out and experience more than the surface static that has become her life but she is constantly thinking of how her actions will affect her family. I also really liked Maddie's mother who in her own way encourages Maddie to live her life. I definitley recommend this book, I couldn't put it down and I read it in one day. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: May 3rd, 2011
Genre: YA/Dystopia
Pages: 487 pgs
ISBN: 9780062024022

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

My Review:
After reading so many reviews I had to go out and buy this book. I am so glad that I did because is it AMAZING! Many people compare it to the Hunger Games but I'm going to say it: I think it is even better than the Hunger Games. This is not to say that I didn't like the Hunger Games because I loved them!
I think that I really liked Beatrice's character. She was conflicted about her faction when we met her and when the book ends she continues to be conflicted about her faction. I loved Roth's writing style and I felt like I couldn't put this book down. I really liked the idea of her new world. It was interesting to read about why each faction believed the War happened and how they set about trying to change the world and ensure nothing like that ever happened again. I also think it's equally interesting how over time, the core values of the factions began to change slowly. It just shows that we are still dealing with humans who can be corrupted by power and control. In this book, we see that the Erudites and the Dauntless want to take control of the government from the Abnegation and in the end they are corrupted. For the majority of this novel, this not the focus. There is some foreshadowing that things will not end well but most of the book focuses on Tris' training and initiation into the Dauntless faction. She really struggles with fitting in, especially since she is proven to be Divergent. It is interesting to note that because she is divergent she does well in her training. I don't want to give too much away but this book is excellent. You have to go out to your local bookstore and get a copy of it. In fact, this book is part of a series and I don't want to wait for the next book. I wish it was out already! Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Hop: Dream World

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world, which book would it be from and what would that place be?

Hmm..This is difficult but I think I would have to say that I would pick the world of Harry Potter. It is difficult to find another series that so accurately depicts the setting the way the Harry Potter books do. It is magical and while there is some turmoil I think it would be worth it. That's my answer: short and sweet. I'm curious to read what the rest of you wrote.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Texual Healing by Eric Smith

Publisher: Author House
Publishing Date: November 19th, 2010
Pages: 280 pgs
ISBN: 9781452062457

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Few people have to deal with a haiku-speaking flower-shop-owning ninja every day on their way to work. Unfortunately for Andrew Connor, he is one of those people.

And poor Andrew, his week has been a rough one. His former bestseller, Chasing Fireflies, is on clearance at Barnes & Noble for $1.37, his girlfriend left him for a corporate America action figure, and he's been tricked into joining Textual Healing, a support group for writers who can't seem to write anymore.

Dealing with his employees at his failing used bookshop, a strange new love interest from the Midwest, and a pet sugar-glider that has somehow managed to destroy his entire apartment... when will he ever find the time to put pen to paper again?

A quirky comedy set in present day New York and New Jersey, Textual Healing follows the story of Andrew, a self-deprecating, once famous author, his small bookstore in Hoboken, and the colorful characters that surround him.

My Review:
I entered to win this book from the Good Reads First Reads program and didn't win but I was pleasantly surprised when the author contacted me and asked me if I'd like a copy of the book for review. I said yes right away. I have to admit that I read this book quite some time ago but I haven't had the time to write the review. That being said, it was not because I didn't love the book. Smith is an excellent writer and I really hope that he continues to write more books. This book is about a man who gets dumped and has writer's block. He wrote a bestselling book and while on a date with a girl he wants to impress he finds his book on sale for $1.37. First of all this book is hilarious! I found myself sitting in my living room laughing out loud. My boyfriend kept giving me looks like I was crazy but I couldn't help it. I think the best part in the book is when Andrew decides to buy a sugar glider in order to substantiate a lie that he told to Hannah in order to impress her. This sugar glider goes feral and reaps havoc on Andrew's apartment. I definitely can't do this book justice. I have to say that while the story line is great, the characters in this book are even better. The best one, the crazy ninja florist, who randomly shows up out of nowhere throughout the novel. I have to admit this may not be the kind of novel that I would normally pick up at the store but I can't recommend this book enough. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

It gives people a change to share what books we're so excited about that we can't wait for them to come out.

This week my book is a book that has been all aroung the blogs lately. Here it is:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Summary from GoodReads:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Can you say wow? Thsi book is coming out June 14th, 2011. Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Minority Report

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's edition is Top Ten Favourite Minor Characters in novels.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to come up with all ten but I will try my best. Here we go...

1. Christina in Divergent by Veronica Roth
Christina quickly becomes friends with Beatrice/Tris while they begin their initiation into the Dauntless faction. I just really liked how she was a good friend when it would have been quite easy to be bitchy.

2. The Ninja Florist in Textual Healing by Eric Smith
This book is hilarious and I love that Smith adds in these random characters into his book. This woman would show up sporatically throughout the book dressed as a ninja and tied people up. Everytime I encountered this character while reading I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

3. Bitterblue in Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Bitterblue is a survivor and I loved how strong this character was especially since she is only 10 years old.

4. Bailey in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares
This is the little girl that Tibby makes friends with in the first installment of the Travelling Pants series. I am not going to lie this little girl made me cry like a baby while reading and while watching the movie.

5. Rosie in Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Well, you may be wondering who this character is. She is the elephant in this novel and I loved that part of the novel. She only takes commands in Polish and she is loyal to her handler.

6. Jess in Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Jess is Becky Bloomwood's down to earth sister who always knows how to put Becky in her place. I love this character because she is not afraid to tell Becky that she is being ridiculous.

7. Harriet Vanger in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
While we don't see much of this character in this book, she is the topic of a lot of conversation throughout the novel. I like this character because she is a survivor. She does what she needs to do to get out of a very dangerous situation.

8. Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
She is Anne bosom friend and I loved her character. She is a true friend and she keeps Anne balanced.

9. Brian in My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Brian is the father in this story and I really felt for him. He always wanted to do what was best for his children and I always felt for him when I was reading this book. He struggled throughout the entire novel and this character stayed in my mind well after I was done reading this book.

10. Jonah Miller in The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Jonah is the little brother in this novel and I found him quite endearing. He always had something insightful to say but he was so fragile at the end as well.

Okay so I thought this would be more difficult but I even have an 11th. Here is an extra one:

11. Minny in The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Minny is hilarious. I mean a sh*t pie? Really!? How could you not love this character?

I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's top tens.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: The Cellar by A.J. Whitten

Publisher: Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Date: May 2nd, 2011
Pages: 276 pgs
ISBN: 9780547232539

Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Meredith Willis is suspicious of Adrien, the new guy next door. When she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.

But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up in the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?

My Review:

This is one of the first books I requested from NetGalley and it looked like it was going to be a good read. I like reading about dark and twisted things; the grosser the better. This book was definitely gross in some of it's descriptions of the walking dead. Adrien and his "mother" feast on humans and Whitten's descriptions during these parts are quite gruesome, which I like. I have heard many people refer to this story as a twisted modern telling of Romeo and Juliet; however I don't really see it that way. Yes, Romeo and Juliet is referenced in this novel and Adrian wants Heather to be his Juliet but I wouldn't classify this as a love story. Adrian desperately wants a mate in his journey as the walking dead and his "mother" keeps denying him this opportunity. At times I felt sympathy for Adrian and then he would do something horrible and I remembered that Adrian is not the good guy in this story. I have to admit that I quickly got bored with this story. I don't know if it was just me though. I have been reading a lot of ARCs lately and I have desperately wanted to read some of the books on my shelf. My impatience with this book could have been attributed to this. After reading this book I decided to take some time off and read some of the books on my shelf. My rating for this book is 3 stars out of 5 but that's not to say that someone else may love it. If you like a bit of horror this is the book for you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: May 10th, 2011
Pages: 344 pgs
ISBN: 9780062004017
Genre: YA/Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

My Review:
There has been a lot of hype about this book so when I was approved on NetGalley to read this book I was excited. The book has a unique take on the zombie/paranormal genre. Plum introduces us to Paris and the world of revenants. Revenants are a type of paranormal entity whose primary goal is to save people. When a person dies in place of another, they may become revenant which means they wake up 3 days after they have died. They spend their days saving others from death and as a result they are always dying and regenerating. They come back at the same age they were when they originally died otherwise while they are alive they age like humans do. I really liked this idea and I think Plum did a good job describing revenants. It was refreshing and exciting to read. I also liked the relationship between Kate and Vincent. Plum described instant attraction but Kate doesn't just fall head over heels for Vincent regradless of the consequences of his lifestyle. Kate actually takes a break from all things Vincent and revenants after a particularly tramatizing event. Many paranormal books have girls who follow the guy they like regardless of the danger they are put in. They don't seem to think about the consequences of that particular lifestyle and that can frustrate me. Kate doesn't do this and I have more respect for her character for that very reason. I also like the Vincent is willing to sacrifice a bit to be with Kate as well. He is willing to go against his instincts to save others and stop dying so that he can age with Kate. Plum's writing style is fluid and easy to read; she draws in her reading with an air of mystery and keeps them entertained with character development and exciting plot twists. Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Well first off, let me apologize for being absent as of late. I have been extremely busy teaching, wedding planning and on top of that I have started a course on how to teach French as a second language. The course is entirely in French and it is a test of my French grammar skills. I am finding it difficult and as a result my poor blog has been neglected. I'm hoping to schedule some posts for this week over the weekend. Please bare with me. Anyhow, onto the book blogger hop. This week's question is as follows:

Which book blogger would you most want to meet in real life?

There are two book bloggers who I admire for their work and dedication to their blog. Not only this but they both seem like really fun down to earth people. The first is Kristi from The Story Siren and the second is Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner and The Broke and the Bookish. They are both not afraid to speak their mind even when it might be met with some negativity.
I almost forgot two: Swapna from S.Krishna's Books and also Nely from All About N. Swapna is super amazing. She reads a ridiculous amout of books every year. I'm not sure where she finds the time. Nely also reads a lot and she is a mother. Her vlogs are great as well. The last one I saw, her little one made an appearance.

Those are my picks, what are yours?